Posts Tagged florida state

Unable to play football, disabled fan earned FSU championship ring

August 28, 2014 – By Katie Petty, Correspondent, Orlando Sentinel


Payton Poulin, was born with schizencephaly. It didn’t stop him from attending most of FSU’s practices and games last year and from inspiring the team.

FSU National Championship Ring


Nearly two decades after his parents were told he likely never would talk, Payton Poulin had no trouble finding the words to express what his national championship ring meant to him.

The Osceola teen who wasn’t expected to walk stood on his own for the first time in June.

Poulin’s predicted life expectancy was not supposed to extend past a very early age, certainly not into his sophomore year at Florida State.

An improbable, special life has become more charmed in the past year, when Poulin was befriended by FSU’s football team, attended practices and games last fall, and received a special gift to commemorate his role in the Seminoles’ title-winning season.

“I always thought that if they won the national championship, I wouldn’t get a ring, but they told me one day that I was going to get one,” said Poulin, a Harmony High School graduate who is expected to attend the Seminoles’ season opener Saturday night against Oklahoma State in Irving, Texas. “I couldn’t believe that they would do that for me.

“It was super nice for them to do that.”

Poulin was born with schizencephaly, a birth defect similar to cerebral palsy that affected his muscular development and language skills. While he cannot play football, that did not stop him from attending Harmony’s varsity practices throughout high school and giving the Longhorns pregame speeches.

“He would always say something to bring their focus back or give them a word of encouragement when they weren’t doing as well or pat them on the butt and say, ‘Hey, I saw that,”’ Harmony coach Jerrad Butler said. “Regardless of what it was, he was very socially aware of the situation and what needed to be done. He had a good grasp on reading people.”

After meeting former FSU wide receiver Kenny Shaw in an introduction to short stories class last fall, Poulin was invited to a Seminoles practice.

He soon became as much a fixture there as Jimbo Fisher.

“He’s just electric and so positive,” said Fisher, FSU’s coach. “He never missed a day of practice and was always on time. He’s a great inspiration to the team and the coaches.”

Poulin, a Seminoles fan since he was 4, attended all seven of FSU’s home games and its victory against UF in Gainesville last year.

After FSU (14-0) beat Auburn 34-31 in the BCS championship game in Pasadena, Calif., in January, Fisher surprised Poulin with a ring that showcases FSU’s emblem, glitters with white gems and is inscribed with the words “NATIONAL CHAMPION.”

The Seminoles will enter this season atop preseason polls.

“Sometimes you might think, ‘Does Payton deserve that [ring] because he didn’t play on the team?’” said his father, Patrick Poulin Jr. “But with all his heart, he would be on that team, and he would be playing on that team if he didn’t have his disability.”

Butler recalled when Harmony started 0-5 during Poulin’s senior year. The Longhorns were struggling through a poor practice when Poulin told Butler, “I got this, Coach.”

Two players lifted Poulin from his wheelchair, then had the entire roster line up, interlock arms and walk 100 yards. Then Poulin said, “Quit feeling sorry for yourselves. It’s time to start new.”

The Longhorns finished that season with only their second playoff berth since the school opened in 2004.

Now he has a ring — and much more.

In the past year, Poulin has worked with FSU’s physical therapists to build leg strength. He used a metal bar to stand for 10-minute increments a few times a week.

On June 27, Poulin stood on his own for the first time.

“It felt awesome,” said Poulin, whose goal is to walk a marathon (26.2 miles). “If you haven’t done it before, then it’s great to stand.”

Poulin, a business major, returned to FSU’s football practices last week. He plans on attending every practice and home game this season.

Even if the end result is not another ring, the experience is more valuable.

“Being around such a great group of individuals changed my outlook on life, because they always have one goal in mind, no matter the circumstance,” Poulin said.


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Florida State players show off their massive championship rings

April 10, 2014


The Florida State Seminoles football team received their national championship rings this week, and they are huge.

FSU Florida State 2013 National Champions Ring


Three months after capping off an undefeated season with a BCS National Championship Game victory over Auburn, the Florida State Seminoles finally received their championship rings.

There are three of them: one from the BCS, one designed by coach Jimbo Fisher , and a third for winning the ACC championship.

Backup quarterback Sean Maguire posted all three rings on Instagram and All-American kicker Roberto Aguayo tweeted a close-up shot of the ring designed by Fisher.

Florida State posted a video on their website of Fisher’s speech to the team after giving out the rings.

“What I want you to do when you put it on – I want you to think about the teamwork you had, the camaraderie you had, the family atmosphere you had and the sacrifices you made to get it,” Fisher said. “You can’t ever lose the desire, drive and habits that got you that ring.”

Florida State originally teased the designs in March, but they are even more impressive when you see the real things up close.


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FSU releases images of their latest championship rings

March 18, 2014


Images of FSU’s National Championship rings have been released.

fsu college national championship rings


FSU’s official recruiting Twitter account released the picture above on Monday night, showing off the design of the championship rings.

The top of the ring appears to be covered with diamonds, making up the Coaches’ Trophy, with the “FS” also outlining diamonds. “National” and “champions” are on each side of the top.

Players do not receive rings with diamonds, the NCAA prohibits this. There rings will have cubic zirconias (fake diamonds).

The side of the rings has specific names, FSU’s 14-0 record and the final score (34-31) of FSU’s championship game victory against Auburn.


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